• Carmen Marie Fabio

Kin Fables film trilogy makes screen premiere


Filmmakers Ben and Sebastian McKinnon answer questions from the audience at the world premiere of the Kin Fables trilogy in Hudson last week.

All 144 seats of the Hudson Village Theatre were filled Friday, February 13, as viewers finally got to see the long-anticipated Kin Fables trilogy in its entirety in two screenings following two years of work. “Beautifully shot and beautifully edited,” said Hudson Film Society President Clint Ward following the screening, calling it a ‘visual poem.’ What’s it actually about? That’s entirely up to you.

The brainchild of brothers Sebastian and Benjamin McKinnon, the viewer inherently understands from the opening frames of the first fi lm, simply titled Kin, that preconceptions and suppositions won’t work in trying to nail down a story line while watching the scenes unfolding onscreen.

Visualize a dream-like fugue in which two children wander, punctuated with elements of medieval, indigenous, and even World War II imagery. Throw in a haunting soundtrack by written by Sebastian, with vocals by Charlotte Oleena and accompanied by violinist Chlöe Picard from Toulouse, France. Suspend expectations of convention, and allow yourself the pleasure of enjoying the ride.

“We didn’t aim to make a typical feature film,” said Sebastian. “It’s an art project more than anything.” He likens the trilogy, the second and third installments titled Salvage and Requiem respectively, more to being an exercise in emotion. “How can we make the audience feel with imagery and music?”

Enough of a visual narrative is provided that the viewer will easily derive their own interpretation and the storyline is just intangible enough to respect the viewers’ collective intelligence. Shot primarily with a cast of unknown actors comprised of mostly local residents from the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region, including Your Local Journal columnist James Parry, they adeptly bring an ethereal, otherworldly quality to the characters with the theatrical aplomb of seasoned professionals.

“I think it’s absolutely incredible,” said Hudson resident Robert Kemerer, “and not just because I’m in it. I think the production itself is visually stunning.” Kemerer, like many other cast members, won the role by serendipity, being in the right place at the right time after one of the originally cast actors fell ill.

“I just happened to be in Pure Art one day,” he said of the filmmakers’ parents’ store in Hudson, “and (owner) Brigitte McKinnon phoned Sebastian and said, ‘I think I found a substitute.’ A week later, I was on an airplane going to Newfoundland.” The first of the three, filmed in Montebello and St. Lazare, has been available online since 2013, scoring over 40,200 YouTube hits and was the winner of Best Cinematography at the Fantasia International Film Festival 2013 in the Quebec Short Film Category.

The crew travelled to Newfoundland to shoot Salvage, while downtown Montreal landmarks are identifiable in Requiem. Filmmaker Sebastian McKinnon said he felt a physical sense of relief following the screening. “We’ve been working nonstop right up to this day, but now that people have seen it, there’s a weight off my shoulders.”

Along with his brother Ben and their company Five Knight Productions, Sebastian is scanning the horizons for new projects including tackling writing a script for a feature-length film. The team has just returned from discussions with producers in Los Angeles including representatives from director David Fincher’s company Reset Productions. Two thirds of the funds raised from the screening go directly towards the Pure Art Foundation’s humanitarian mission supporting 15,000 residents living in the slums of Pucallpa, Peru.

For more information on their work, consult http://www.pureartfoundation.org/. The first installment is available online on Vimeo at vimeo.com/73747093 and more information, including a graphic novel and CD of the project is available on the website at kinfables.com. For more images from this event, check our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YourLocalJournalVS

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